Simply complete form below and we will contact you as soon as possible with a bespoke and competitive quote tailored to your requirements.

Alternatively, please call the team on +44 (0) 2392 75 65 75 or e-mail sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

    Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

     

    Skip to Content

    Blog Archives

    Freight Forwarding Experience – Shipping to Australia

    As an experienced freight forwarder, Mercator Cargo handles regular air and sea freight shipments to Australia.  Generally, sea freight shipping to Australia can take up to 50 days, depending upon which port the vessel calls at.  Some vessels will call by several ports, whilst others will just stop at one or two, for example Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane, to name a few.

    Our local partner in Australia has handled many shipments in conjunction with Mercator Cargo.  The benefit of having a freight forwarding point of contact in Australia is their local knowledge and abilities to arrange a ‘to door’ shipment once arrived in Australia.

    Shipping to Sydney, for example, can be arranged whereby your cargo is loaded onto a vessel which calls at Sydney, to reduce trucking time.  Once your container shipment has arrived in Sydney, arrangements to deliver the cargo to its final destination can be implemented.

    Australia is a vast country, and whereas, for example, if you are shipping goods into the UK, there isn’t a great difference if the vessel calls at Southampton or Felixstowe, the difference between Perth and Brisbane is vast.  It is best to arrange for your shipping to Australia to arrive at the port nearest the cargo’s final destination.

    We can also arrange air freight shipping to Australia, arriving in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, or Adelaide.  Air freight takes 24 hours from leaving London to arriving in Australia.  Obviously air freight comes at a premium, so unless the shipment for Australia is urgent, or much smaller than a pallet or container, then sea freight tends to be the method of transit most choose.

    Upon your shipments arrival in the Australian port, the cargo will be checked, along with the documents, packing list, and cleared through customs.  Depending upon what has been agreed with your buyer, there may be GST and duty to pay to clear the shipment through customs.

    If you’re looking for someone to handle your shipping to Australia, then give us a call and speak to our exports department, where someone will be able to assist you – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

     

    Request a Quote for Shipping to Australia

      Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

      0 Continue Reading →

      Banishing Freight Forwarding Myths

      Using a freight forwarder to handle your import or export shipment might not be as costly as you think.

      Firstly, freight forwarders have good contacts with various hauliers and shipping lines.  Freight forwarders understand their industry, and their suppliers.  Shopping around for the best price is standard practice here at Mercator Cargo, we obtain the best price for our customers.  Using a freight forwarder can have this advantage, if you consider a potential shipment, where would you start?  Would you ring around lots of suppliers to get the best price?  Would you know which supplier offers which route or service?  Mercator Cargo knows, and that’s why we are able to shop around for the most competitive price for you.

      Would you know to ask suppliers if prices they gave you included this service, or that service?  A freight forwarder can help you in this aspect, the price given will be the price paid.  If you know your costs upfront, you can then work on your profit margins; how much do you need to sell this for to make a decent profit taking into account your shipping costs?

      Finally, utilising a freight forwarder can prevent mistakes, thus saving money.  For example, if a document is not in the right place at the right time, your shipment may have to be held on quay, or in storage, which can be costly.  Putting your freight into trusting hands can alleviate this possibility of further costs incurred due to delays.

      If you’re looking for a freight forwarder to take control of your shipping for you , then call us today to discuss your shipments – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

       

      Request a Quote for Freight Forwarding Services

        Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

        0 Continue Reading →

        Freight Forwarding – Why Choose an Independent Freight Forwarder

        Mercator Cargo has been running for over twenty years now and is still run and managed by the same founding family.  Mr Paul (our MD) has been in the industry for almost forty years, and our imports and exports team have extensive knowledge of the freight forwarding industry.

        Mercator Cargo is an independent freight forwarder.  But what does this mean to you as the import or export customer?  Traditionally, independent freight forwarders have had the means and the advantage of offering their customers a high quality personal service.

        An independent freight forwarding outfit has excellent capabilities of being flexible with their customers, and the ability to be agile and respond quickly to their customers’ need for convenience.  By having this valuable service, good rapport with customers, and formed links with other independent freight forwarders (via a global network), independent freight forwarders have the ability to offer just as comprehensive freight forwarding service, if not a better service than larger logistics companies.

        The advantage of an independent freight forwarder being a part of a global network, is also something which can set apart one forwarder from another.  Mercator Cargo is a founding partner of the independent freight forwarder network Marco Polo Line.  The global network is made up of other independent freight forwarders from all around the world.  The advantage of being part of this network includes having personal contacts in almost every country in the world, local knowledge around the globe, ability to offer door-to-door services in most countries, and tried and tested worldwide partners.

        Independent freight forwarders, such as Mercator Cargo, have traditional strengths of innovative and bespoke premium services, teamed with the added value of thorough knowledge of their clients businesses and service.

        If you’re looking for a reliable service from an independent freight forwarder, then call us today to discuss your shipping needs – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

         

        Request a Quote for Freight Forwarder Services

          Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

          0 Continue Reading →

          Freight Forwarding – How Shipping Containers have Changed the Freight Forwarding Industry

          Shipping containers have been used since the 1950s when they were invented by an American trucking businessman.  Since then, freight forwarders, importers and exporters have used shipping containers for the transit of all kinds of goods.

          Prior to freight forwarders using 40 foot or 20 foot containers, ships hulls were loaded manually by dock workers, box by box, piece by piece.  This is a time consuming job, and sometimes these big shipping liners spent more time at the docks than they did at sea.

          Now, using shipping containers, freight forwarders can get their cargo off the shipping liners within hours, rather than weeks.  Their uniformed sizes mean that they can be easily transferred from ship to dockside, to truck, to train, and so on.

          These rather simple developments in freight forwarding have dramatically decreased costs involved in importing and exporting goods.

          If you have a full container load, or even a less than container load, of cargo to be exported or imported, then get in touch today to discuss our freight forwarding services available – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

           

          Request a Quote for International Containerised Shipping

            Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

            0 Continue Reading →

            What is a Freight Forwarder?

            If you are new to importing or exporting from the UK, you may be wondering what a freight forwarder does, what their role with your company should be, what they can offer, and what the responsibilities of the importer/exporter (i.e. you) versus the freight forwarder are.

            To cut the jargon, the freight forwarder (the person or company that you appoint to handle your shipment) will do just that – they will handle your shipment for you. Freight forwarders oversee the worldwide movement of goods from country to country, and can offer services such as packing, documentation and customs clearance on behalf of exporters and importers.

            Your freight forwarder should be able to offer any kind of level of service you require. For example, if you are completely new to importing and exporting your goods, you may wish your freight forwarder to arrange all aspects of your shipment. This might include a door-to-door delivery (i.e. arrange the collection of goods, and delivery of goods to the door for your chosen destination), insurance, customs clearance, and all services required to deliver goods from one country to the next. However, you may decide that you only wish for a delivery from door to port, or from port to door, and so on. Mercator can offer either a fully comprehensive freight forwarding service, or arrange smaller aspects of your shipment.

            So what kind of role do you wish your freight forwarder to have with your company? Again, this entirely depends on your needs and the needs of your business. If you are a first time importer, or exporter, you may wish to make initial contact with your freight forwarder before committing to any international trade with other companies. Mercator Cargo can offer you advice on buying terms from abroad, provide quotes for exports from the UK so you can inform your buyers, and also advise what you can or cannot import from country to country. Our experienced team of freight forwarders can offer as much “hand holding” as you require.

            What are your responsibilities, and what are our responsibilities? In a nut shell, our responsibilities are to get your goods to its destination for you as instructed, to inform you every step of the way of your shipment, and to provide reliable advice relating to your shipment. Your responsibilities as an importer or exporter vary from shipment to shipment.  You are required to declare your goods accurately (i.e. if a declaration is made on your behalf as instructed, and it is not accurate, you are liable for this, not the freight forwarder), therefore it is essential you advise your freight forwarder of the accurate nature of your goods.

            If you think that you might need the services of a freight forwarder, then give us a call, we will be happy to discuss your freight forwarding needs with you – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

             

            Request a Quote for Freight Forwarder Services

              Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

              0 Continue Reading →

              Freight Forwarding News – Benefits of Freight Forwarders Belonging to a Global Network

              Mercator Cargo is a founding member of the global freight forwarding network Marco Polo Line (MPL).  What does this mean for you, the potential (or existing) customer?

              Marco Polo Line was founded with the intention to give independent freight forwarders (like Mercator Cargo) advantages that the bigger freight forwarders have traditionally enjoyed over the independent forwarders.

              The first, and biggest impact that Mercator finds invaluable on a daily basis (both for our customers, and our operations in the office) is the personal contacts that we now have globally.  Marco Polo Line holds annual conferences, where members can meet face-to-face and build working relationships.  Mercator Cargo takes full advantage of these conferences, sending at least two members of the freight forwarding team.  These personal contacts allow Mercator to arrange shipments seamlessly, using valuable local knowledge, and offer to-door shipments in almost any country in the world (thanks to our global partners).

              The other advantage is that members are ‘vetted’, tried and tested (you cannot join MPL by just filling a form in).  Membership is monitored, so if there are problems, these can be raised and eradicated.  This means that our partner offices are trustworthy and reliable to handle your shipments, where ever they are in the world.

              These are just a few examples of the benefits of choosing Mercator as your freight forwarder.

              Contact us today to discuss how we can help you with your freight forwarding needs – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

               

              Request a Quote for Freight Forwarding Services

                Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

                0 Continue Reading →

                Freight Forwarding News – Export Week 2013

                This week sees the UK’s ‘Export Week’; a government launched series of events around the UK to promote exporting to small businesses.

                The aim of ‘Export Week’ is to increase the number of small businesses that currently export.  The national target set by the government is for 100,000 more businesses exporting over the next 5 years.

                This would increase the number of UK manufacturers that export from 20% to 25%, and add to the UK economy an estimated £36 billion.

                UK businesses can see an increase in up to 34% of productivity when they start exporting, so if you have the opportunity to export – it’s a no-brainer!

                Small businesses might be daunted by the prospect of exporting from the UK, however, it is becoming increasingly more evident that smaller businesses can also win international business.

                Of course, larger firms may already have trained staff in exporting their goods, and may even have dedicated staff for this purpose.

                Smaller firms need not fear; this is where a freight forwarder can step in.  By appointing a freight forwarder to handle their export shipment, the whole process can be taken care of.  By appointing an experienced freight forwarder (such as Mercator Cargo) the weight can be lifted off your shoulders and you can be safe in the knowledge that your cargo is in expert hands.

                Mercator Cargo is an independent freight forwarder who prides itself on offering a personal service.  With a team of experienced freight forwarders at hand, we can offer a “hand holding” service if needs be, and can offer advice at every step along the way.

                So if you’re considering exporting your goods from the UK, give Mercator Cargo a call today to discuss your export shipment – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

                 

                Request a Quote for Export Shipping from the UK

                  Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

                  0 Continue Reading →

                  Freight Forwarding – Customs Clearance for Importing to the UK

                  If you are importing goods into the UK for the first time, you will need to understand ‘customs clearance’ and your responsibilities with regards to paying VAT & Duty on your import.  As freight forwarders, we can handle your customs clearance for you.

                  If you do not yet have an EORI Number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) then you will need to contact HMRC to obtain one.  This number will be used as a reference when dealing with any customs matters relating to your shipments.  It is a requirement to have an EORI number when importing goods into the UK, and it is fairly straight forward to obtain one (generally it takes less than a week to obtain this through HMRC).

                  I have my EORI number, what else do I need to know?  The following list details some other aspects you will need to know/have before you import your goods:

                  • Your EORI number for imports;
                  • Deferment Number (if you already have one existing with HMRC);
                  • A full description of your goods and a Customs Tariff Code (we can assist you with this).

                  What do I actually need on the day of import?  In order for your goods to clear customs, you will need to have the following sent to us in advance of the import:

                  • The commercial invoice from the shipper of the goods;
                  • Certificate of Origin of the goods;
                  • Generalised System of Preference (if applicable).

                  These documents will not only allow us to proceed with customs clearance, but will also allow us to calculate the amount of VAT and duty payable (this can be worked out in advance if required).

                  If you choose us as your freight forwarder to handle your import into the UK, and decide for us to handle your VAT & duty payment to HMRC, we will require the cleared funds to be able to release your shipment.

                  If this sounds intimidating, then please do not despair!  As experienced freight forwarders we are here to guide our customers through this process, and are happy to provide a “hand holding” service for those new to the process.

                  Give us a call today if you have any questions about your import shipment with us – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

                   

                  Request a Quote for Importing into the UK

                    Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

                    0 Continue Reading →

                    Freight Forwarding – Terms of Delivery when Buying Internationally

                    If you are looking to begin international trade: buying your goods outside of the UK and importing them, there are some terms of delivery which you will agree with your supplier that are important that you understand.

                    It is generally advised that you use ‘INCOTERMS’ when buying your goods internationally. INCOTERMS are a set of rules which have been issued by the International Chamber of Commerce. The terms outline both the buyer’s and the seller’s obligations and risk under given terms of delivery. The precise nature of these terms and their definitions can prevent misunderstandings between the buyer and seller and their obligations.

                    The following are the main terms used for delivery (there are many others, but generally these are the ones to know about).

                    EXW – Ex Works. The buyer is responsible for the door to door transport costs, destination taxes and duties, and marine insurance. It is the buyer’s risk from door to door.

                    FOB – Free on Board. The seller is responsible for charges up to and over the ‘ship’s rail’ (the ship’s rail being the point where the container is lifted off the quay and over the side of the ship). It is the seller’s risk up to and over the ship’s rail.
                    The buyer is responsible for the shipping costs from the port of departure to the place of delivery, marine insurance from the port of loading and destination duties and taxes.

                    CFR – Cost and Freight. The seller is responsible for the FOB charges and ocean freight up to the named port of destination. It is the seller’s risk up to the FOB.
                    The buyer is responsible for unloading from the ship, duties and taxes, and local delivery to the destination and marine insurance from the FOB.

                    CIF – Cost Insurance Freight. Same as CFR (above), but the seller arranges and pays for the marine insurance up to the buyer’s door.

                    We can offer all levels of service, from arranging every single aspect for you (e.g. door to door delivery, insurance, customs clearance, VAT & Duty payments, and so on), or just one part of your shipment for you, for example the ocean freight.

                    If this has left you baffled and you’re not sure what to do next, then give us a call to discuss your shipment. We’d be happy to help you make sense of this and assist you with arranging your import into the UK – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

                     

                    Request a Quote for International Shipping

                      Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

                      0 Continue Reading →

                      Freight Forwarding from South Africa to the UK

                      Mercator Cargo has been handling regular imports from South Africa to the UK for many years now. We are an independent freight forwarder, based in the UK and have a team of experienced forwarders with experience in importing from South Africa.

                      We have recently seen trends for vehicle imports from South Africa. These are either an individual purchasing a vehicle for their personal use, or a business buying stock for their UK market.

                      Another field of our experience in importing from South Africa are used, and in some cases, classic cars. The climate in South Africa means vintage cars are, for the most part, not affected by rust or perishing. We have imported a number of interesting vehicles over the years, and are in regular contact with some vehicle sourcing and exporting companies.

                      fiat multipla 1956

                      As part of a worldwide network of freight forwarders, we have personal contacts around the globe with local knowledge. Our Partner in South Africa is able to assist with Export Customs, transport and other associated activities. We can advise our customers on all aspects of exporting from South Africa to the UK. Our services for importing from South Africa can be fully comprehensive including insurance, door-to-door imports, or as little as arranging your ocean or air freight.

                      If you’re looking for a freight forwarder with experience in importing from South Africa, then give us a call today to discuss your requirements – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

                       

                      Request a Quote for Shipping from South Africa to the UK

                        Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

                        0 Continue Reading →